AN award-winning internet company is poised to take on more staff as it broadens its horizons in the global market.
The Ink Squid, which was founded three years ago, is in the finals of the Red Rose Business awards for both the internet business of the year title and the new business award, while at the samne time it is preparing to defend its BIBA E-business crown won last year.
Now the inkjet and toner cartridge retailer is planning to expand in the coming months, including taking on an apprentice in the summer.
Owner Adrian Meakin from Bispham, who started out on his own with just £600 of stock, said that the company began selling on Ebay but has expanded to other platforms including Amazon – which was really taking off.
He said “Ebay accounts for 60 per cent of our sales but Amazon is growing. We now are getting access to all the Amazon marketplaces in Germany, Spain and France, once we got our listings translated into the respective languages, Italy will be the next one.
“We get around three to five orders from Germany every day and 10 to 12 from the US.
“We send about 25,000 orders, around 300,000 cartridges, per year to over 200 countries, from little old ladies to PLCs. We are expanding all the time – in fact turnover has more than doubled year on year since we started – currently about £300,000.
Adrian said: “We are proud of our customer service. 100 per cent positive on Ebay over nearly 14,000 rated transactions – I don’t think any other large-volume ink seller has anything like this kind of reputation.
“Customers can save up to £50 on a set of inkjet cartridges to more than £500 on a set of laser toners (compared to the brand name prices) and everything has a lifetime guarantee. If a customer is not 100 per cent happy they can return the product for a full refund or exchange.
“So we have a great on-line profile and more and more local businesses are buying from us but we still have a relatively low profile in Blackpool.”
He said new stock was coming in which will be listed on all platforms and the walk-in trade at his Sycamore Trading Estate premises at Squires Gate is growing for local customers.